A SUPERMINI SU­PER­HERO: THE SUZUKI SWIFT KEEPS ON GIV­ING

The Suzuki Swift has been a main­stay of the supermini seg­ment for al­most two decades. Here’s why...

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - SUZUKI SWIFT

SOME­TIMES you can’t get enough of a good thing, and the Suzuki Swift is a les­son in how that is true, but only if you keep fo­cused on in­no­va­tion and changes in de­mand.

The Swift has been a tried and tested supermini choice for 18 years, aided by an ex­ten­sive new gen­er­a­tion re­vamp for 2017.

The Swift has been around since the year 2000, and has been con­stantly dif­fi­cult to top­ple from its pedestal of be­ing pound for pound one of the best su­per­mi­nis around, even if it’s not the best-known.

It has made 5.4 mil­lion sales glob­ally in the past 12 years alone which is more than any other Suzuki model.

That’s de­spite Suzuki not hav­ing the gi­ant in­built ad­van­tage of be­ing one of the truly ma­jor global man­u­fac­tur­ers.

The flag­ship model, the Swift Sport hot hatch, has in par­tic­u­lar been a joy, lead­ing the way in hot supermini hatches long be­fore such a thing was as com­mon a con­cept as it is to­day. The good news is that a brand new Sport is on its way (more of this later).

WHAT’S NEW?

The good news is the all-new gen­er­a­tion of the Swift landed late in the sec­ond half of 2017. This third gen­er­a­tion car was ex­ten­sively made over in the best tra­di­tions of Suzuki crafts­man­ship.

The essence of its de­sign has been re­tained, al--

though flow­ing edges dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.

There are strong shoul­ders and ver­ti­cally ar­ranged front and rear lamps. The body is shorter, lower and wider, and the new front grille is more in your face.

The look of a low cen­tre of grav­ity is fur­ther es­tab­lished by blacked-out pil­lars that cre­ate the ap­pear­ance of a float­ing roof.

Pil­lar-mounted door han­dles add both style and a sporty flair while a high-tech look comes in the form of LED sig­na­ture il­lu­mi­na­tion used in the head­lamps and op­tion­ally in rear com­bi­na­tion lamps.

THE PLAT­FORM

The lat­est model rests on a new-gen­er­a­tion light and rigid plat­form which, with other in­no­va­tions, means the new Swift is some 120kg lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor.

The new Swift is 10mm shorter than the out­go­ing model, while its wheel­base is 20mm longer, cre­at­ing more in­te­rior room in­clud­ing 25 per cent more lug­gage ca­pac­ity at 254-litres – around 20% greater than the out­go­ing model. It’s also 15mm lower and 40mm wider.

Both the changes in weight and di­men­sions re­flect in the Swift’s road-go­ing abil­i­ties.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Lift the lid and you’ll find some de­cent pow­er­plants, in­clud­ing a 90hp 1.2-litre four cylin­der Dual­jet en­gine with man­ual trans­mis­sion that of­fers CO2 emis­sions of 98g/ km and of­fi­cially claims 65.7mpg.

Or you might choose the 111PS 1.0-litre three cylin­der Boost­er­jet turbo man­ual claim­ing CO2 emis­sions of 104g/km and 61.4mpg.

Suzuki’s ALLGRIP ‘AUTO’ four- wheel drive sys­tem is avail­able as an op­tion on higher mod­els.

IN­SIDE THE CABIN

The in­te­rior has changed quite a bit from the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Swift; seat­ing po­si­tions have been low­ered to en­sured the same head clear­ance as the out­go­ing model, and changed to give more room between seats front and rear.

The cen­tre con­sole has been turned five de­grees to­wards the driver, to help with er­gonomics, and the front seats gave been re­fash­ioned and made more com­fort­able. SAFETY AND TECH Stan­dard equip­ment for all trim lev­els is good but the SZ3 model looks par­tic­u­larly good value to us with 1.2-litre Dual­jet en­gine and man­ual trans­mis­sion, six airbags, air con, leather steer­ing wheel, DAB radio with Blue­tooth and four speak­ers, rear pri­vacy glass, LED day­time run­ning lights, 15-inch wheels, body coloured door mir­rors and front electric win­dows.

Shift­ing up the range, SZ-T trim comes with 1.0-litre Boost­er­jet en­gine and man­ual trans­mis­sion plus rear view cam­era, Smart­phone link dis­play au­dio, 16-inch al­loys wheels and front fog lamps glass.

SZ5 adds auto air con, 16-inch pol­ished al­loy wheels, sat nav, a 4.2 inch high-def­i­ni­tion colour LCD dis­play and a bunch of other stuff in­clud­ing a for­ward de­tec­tion sys­tem that com­bines a monoc­u­lar cam­era and a laser sen­sor for ad­vanced safety func­tions.

Full de­tails of the Swift Sport are be­ing kept back for its own launch, but the gos­sip has it to ex­pect some great driver as­sists and screen tech­nol­ogy.

The lat­est model rests on a new-gen­er­a­tion light and rigid plat­form which, with other in­no­va­tions, means the new Swift is some 120kg lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor. The new Swift is 10mm shorter than the out­go­ing model, while the wheel­base is 20mm longer, cre­at­ing more in­te­rior room.”

“The cen­tre con­sole has been turned five de­grees to­wards the driver, to help with er­gonomics, and the front seats gave been re­fash­ioned and made more com­fort­able.”

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